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Taphonomy

Study of decomposition and fossilization of organisms / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Taphonomy is the study of how organisms decay and become fossilized or preserved in the paleontological record. The term taphonomy (from Greek táphos, τάφος 'burial' and nomos, νόμος 'law') was introduced to paleontology in 1940[1] by Soviet scientist Ivan Efremov to describe the study of the transition of remains, parts, or products of organisms from the biosphere to the lithosphere.[2][3]

The term taphomorph is used to describe fossil structures that represent poorly-preserved, deteriorated remains of a mixture of taxonomic groups, rather than of a single one.